Thursday, January 19, 2012
Updated: January 20, 10:57 AM ET
Alex Rodriguez preparing to play third
The New York Yankees may have just traded their assumed designated hitter for 2012, but Alex Rodriguez doesn't plan on being the position's permanent solution.
"I think the vision for us as a team is now ... you want the DH spot to be one that's kind of a revolving door," he said in an interview with ESPNdeportes' Alvaro Morales. "I think a lot of us at some point or another, in such a long season, are going occupy that spot.
"But for me, I'm really excited about playing third base."
Jesus Montero, the Yankees' DH toward the end of the 2011 season, was expected to fill the same role this year but was traded Jan. 13 to the Seattle Mariners for standout pitcher Michael Pineda. The Yankees also received Jose Campos in exchange for pitcher Hector Noesi.
Rodriguez hasn't talked with manager Joe Girardi or general manager Brian Cashman about the DH vacancy yet. Rodriguez told Morales those discussions usually happen during spring training.
"We think about what's the goal and we'll have that conversation at spring training, but I'm conditioning myself right now ... to help the team win a championship and play a good third base," Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez saw a lot of potential in Montero, but he said he believes the trade "makes sense on both ends.
"It's a good trade for both teams. I think the Mariners are going to receive two very good young players. Jesus is a guy who has a lot of power and a lot of potential and is going to help out their team a lot," he said. "And Hector is a pitcher that is gonna throw strikes and can either help them on the front end or the back end of the bullpen. For us, we get exactly what we need -- one of the best young pitchers in the game with an electric arm and great size.
"I think (Pineda'll) be a great compliment to what Brian Cashman has in New York, which is a lot of young talent and someone who can be sandwiched somewhere between CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Ivan Nova."
Rodriguez recalled his one matchup with Pineda, saying "it wasn't a lot of fun."
"He has 3-plus pitches and throws up in the mid 90s, and again he's quite a figure out there, he's 6-7 and has a long reach and I'm glad I don't have to face him anymore," he added.
Rodriguez only played in 99 games during the 2011 season, hampered by knee and hip injuries and sidelined for most of July and August after undergoing knee surgery.
During the offseason, Rodriguez visited a German doctor -- who also treated Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant -- to try and relieve lingering aches.
"I feel pretty good right now and I hope that (the procedure) helps me stay healthy and have ... a great year on the field," Rodriguez told Morales. "My workouts are going great and I'm looking forward to report day on Feb. 24 (to) get started and have a great year for the Yankees."